What to Do Tonight: Public Enemy

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I wonder if Flava Flav has developed neck problems from lugging that clock around all these years
  • I wonder if Flava Flav has developed neck problems from lugging that clock around all these years

When it comes to hip-hop history, Public Enemy (Dr. Chuck D and class clown Flavor Flav) have written one of rap’s greatest chapters. As the genre’s most politically charged act for three decades running, Public Enemy first emerged in the 1980s injecting hip-hop with a revolutionary spirit, producing fists-in-the-air anthems like “Fight the Power,” “911 Is a Joke,” and “Welcome to the Terrordome” — funky guerilla chants that blasted themes of social change using speakers, turntables, and microphones. From 1987’s Yo! Bum Rush the Show to 2007’s How You Sell Soul to a Soulless People Who Sold Their Soul?, Chuck and Flav have given hip-hop its most popular political voice, with production crew the Bomb Squad creating its own style of distinctive beats, incorporating harsh, unmelodic noise and samples, rife with police sirens and news bites that yield both dark and funky grooves. While Chuck’s baritone-booming attacks recall civil-rights leaders’ treatises, Flav plays the clownish foil, an absurd jester whose dark humor often stole the show. For this tour, Public Enemy will be joined by Professor Griff (PE’s longtime Minister of Information) and the infamous SW1 security force, backed by DJ Lord, who’s been spinning the steel wheels since replacing Terminator X in 1999. Public Enemy, with the Impossebulls, Lowdown, Jahi, and the Banned, play House of Blues at 8 p.m. Tickets are $32.50 in advance and $35 the day of the show. Call 216-523-2583 or go to houseofblues.com.—Keith Gribbins

Review the show at clevescene.com/concertscene

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